Maurice Thibeault picks up cheque. January 5, 2018. (Photo courtesy of OLG)

Chatham Lotto Winner Has ‘Nothing To Hide’

The lawyer for a former Chatham man that is fighting to keep his $6-million lottery winnings says he has “nothing to hide” and won’t be taking any settlements.

Maurice Thibeault, who now lives in Leamington, was living with his then girlfriend Denise Robertson in Chatham when he won a $6.1-million Lotto 6/49 Jackpot Prize on September 20, 2017. The dispute began on September 25 when Robertson returned home from work and was shocked to find that Thibeault had moved out.

Thibeault picked up a $3-million cheque from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) Prize Centre in Toronto on January 4, 2018. The rest of the winnings are on hold while legal proceedings are carried out.

Robertson’s lawyer, Steve Pickard, filed a statement of claim in court on Monday claiming that Thibeault breached her trust, got unjust enrichment, and deceived Robertson. Pickard says Robertson is seeking half the $6.1-million winnings. She is also seeking $500,000 in damages.

The defendants have 20 days to respond or the matter will go to trial.

Thibeault’s lawyer Richard Pollock told on Wednesday that his client will not be taking any settlements.

“Thibeault denies any agreement, has nothing to hide and has fully cooperated with OLGC ‘s investigation,” says Pollock. “He has voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination, the results of which he is prepared to share to protect his reputation.”

Pollock says Robertson has not been very cooperative throughout the dispute.

“According to an OLGC affidavit, Ms. Robertson has refused to be interviewed without having a lawyer present. Ms. Robertson has not co-operated with investigators and rejected the dispute resolution options under the act in favour of using the the media to exact a settlement,” says Pollock.

He says the situation could have been handled better by the gaming commission as well.

“OLGC’s handling of this investigation and its untenable decision to withhold prize monies puts into question its promise of peace of mind to winning ticket holders,” he says.

*With files from Paul Pedro